Los Angeles County Superior Court Asst. Presiding Judge Richard P. Byrne has scheduled a pretrial hearing on Aug. 3 for a lawsuit contesting an Inglewood City Council election last month.
In the suit, candidate Garland Hardeman charges that opponent Ervin (Tony) Thomas committed numerous improprieties in the June 16 election, including forgery of absentee ballot signatures and coercing voters. The Los Angeles district attorney's office is reviewing the allegations.
Thomas could not be reached for comment on the suit, but he has denied any wrongdoing.
Absentee votes favored Thomas by a 5-1 margin and gave him a nine-vote victory on election eve. A June 24 recount increased Thomas' edge for a final vote total of 626-610.
The suit, filed last week, alleges election law violations involving at least 25 votes and asks that they be thrown out.